The Russian Embassy was broken into by a mob of armed men in Tripoli, the capital of Libya on Wednesday night. The mob climbed the walls of the compound, broke down the compound’s metal gate and shot into the air. One attacker was killed in the random gunfire and four others were wounded.
The Foreign Ministry of Russia said no embassy staff had been injured or wounded in the invasion. Officials from Libya said they believe the men broke into the compound in response to an air force pilot from Libya being killed by a Russian woman.
The violence at the embassy briefly brought about fear of a possible repeat attack similar to last year’s attack on a diplomatic compound of the U.S. that killed four American diplomats, including the U.S. ambassador. In that case, on September 11, 2012, the 11th year anniversary of the 9/11 terror attack, militants fired on the consulate with mortars, then surrounded it and set it ablaze.
On Wednesday, a Libyan official said the attackers in this incident took the Russian flag down that had been hanging from one of the balconies on the building. However, they did not enter any of the buildings in the compound.
A spokesperson from the Foreign Ministry of Russia confirmed there had been an attack, saying that the preliminary information showed no one amongst the personnel at the embassy had been hurt.
Apparently, the attackers had been reacting to the death of an air force pilot from Libya on Tuesday. Authorities in Libya said a woman who was Russian was arrested and had been accused of killing the pilot and writing offensive graffiti with his blood. Authorities also charged the woman for stabbing the mother of the pilot.
Officials were not sure of the motives of the woman, but noted the graffiti she wrote expressed sentiments against the uprising that had run longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi from office.